June 4, 2008

Updated Thoughts on Mythos

I recently journeyed back into Mythos to experience the recent "Overworld" patch. The Overworld is simply a shared world for all the players of Mythos, where as before the Overworld, cities were instanced ala Guild Wars and then players simply traveled, instantly via maps, to another instance that they (and their group) would share. Now there is just a single, big world instance for all players to run around in. Within that world are entrances to dungeons, which operate as instances for the player or their group.

I'm not really sure I like the Overworld approach. For starters it seems to have completely reset the development of the game. There is an Overworld now, but not much else. Most quests are gone, crafting is being rebuilt, the map system is gone in favor of a similar rune system, and I'm not quite sure if there is a Shadowlands version of the Overworld. Shadowlands being the PvP mirror of the PvE areas.

Starting out definitely felt different in the Overworld. At first, I completely missed the first quest giver as a player ran past my screen, an impossibility in the original Mythos. Secondly, I was sort of lost as there was dots on my mini-map, but little explanation what the point of them were. After getting acquainted with the new Overworld, and finding my first quest giver, I was on my way to adventure.

There are NPCs that spawn in the Overworld to fight, but they are easily bypassed. They also don't seem to spawn fast enough to provide a proper means to level and most did not drop loot. I saw almost no purpose in them, but then again as I mentioned not much is in the game aside from the Overworld.

Once in a dungeon, I found the Mythos I was familiar with. Click, kill, loot, and repeat. Standard hack and slash. The first few dungeons I entered felt much smaller than before, which makes me wonder if the Overworld is supposed to provide some sort of filler content, while dungeons serve as quick in and outs.

There is also a new race, the Cyclops. In reality, it is just another, larger character model option. I noticed no difference playing a Cyclops than any of the other races. There were no new classes this beta phase.

Other than that, I was hard pressed to find something enjoyable. Standard hack and slash works because it is fast and fun. While parts of Mythos are fast and fun, the Overworld is not part of it.

Honestly, the Overworld feels like a neutered version of any other Diku-inspired MMO out there, from WoW to Everquest 2. Part of it is the unfinished nature as a lot of what I remember from the original Mythos is missing.

I guess the most depressing part of the Overworld is that it in no way inspired me to work together with players I might encounter. There was still no noticeable effort to get me to interact with other players, and with the Overworld, there are far less meeting places for players. The first city was relatively empty and the random wanderer I encountered in the Overworld could of been an NPC for all I knew. In the end, the only interaction was via chat.

I have uninstalled Mythos, again. It has a long way to go with the shift in development. Prior to the Overworld, I felt Mythos was a few tweaks and content additions away from being a free and fun time waster. Now I'm not so sure. In an attempt to become more like an MMO, I think Mythos has lost a lot of reason to play it. When Mythos is just like that "other game", but not nearly as good, who cares if it is free? Oh and only free until Flagship Studios can not support it on micro-transactions alone.